What Does SHIP Mean?

SHIP means "Relationship."

The term SHIP is popular in fanfiction circles and refers to a (usually romantic) relationship between characters in a book, film, TV series, manga, or anime.

In this context, SHIP is a noun. However, SHIP is also often used as a verb, when it means to endorse a relationship. Usually, the SHIP in question is not canon in the original story, but is promoted or endorsed by fans. Such SHIPs include those between Mulder and Scully in the X-Files TV series, and between Harry and Hermione in The Harry Potter stories.

Summary of Key Points

"Relationship" is the most common definition for SHIP on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
3: Guessable
Typical Users:
Adults and Teenagers

Image for SHIP

When I write SHIP, I mean this:

meaning of SHIP
Hermione and Harry were never a couple.


Examples of SHIP in Sentences

Here are examples of SHIP being used in conversations:
  • Tony: I think I'm starting to like Brad.
  • Jordan: I totally SHIP you both!
  • Tony: I always SHIPPED Dumbledore and McGonagall.
  • Jordan: Don't be silly! J K Rowling said Dumbledore was gay.

An Academic Look at SHIP

SHIP is a shortened version of relationship and is therefore a contraction. Contractions tend to be formed in one of three ways:
  • Using letters from the start of the word (e.g., AMP from amplifier).
  • Using letters from the start and end of the word (e.g., Dr from Doctor).
  • Using an apostrophe to replace a letter or letters (e.g., can't from cannot).
For reasons of brevity, contractions are rarely followed by periods/full stops and apostrophes are routinely omitted in text speak and on social-media platforms.

Example of SHIP Used in a Text


See Also

Saying "I Love You" BREADCRUMBING (sending messages in order to lead someone on, but with no intent of a serious relationship) CUFFED (caught, married (or in a relationship)) ENTANGLEMENT (complicated romantic relationship) HARD LAUNCH (explicit announcement of a romantic relationship) MONKEY (someone who moves quickly from one relationship to the next.) SOFT LAUNCH (subtle announcement of a romantic relationship) STR (send to receive, short term relationship, short term rental) THIRSTY (desperate for a relationship)